Kiwis Save Millions As Airlines Match Pacific Blue
Kiwis Save Millions As Airlines Drop Fares To Match Pacific Blue
Pacific Blue estimates New Zealanders have saved at least $4 million on air travel since it announced flights within New Zealand, and that the figure is much higher when price drops from copycat competitors are taken into account.
Pacific Blue announced plans last month to begin flying domestic routes in New Zealand from November 15. It will initially concentrate on services between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
The airline's General Manager Commercial, Adrian Hamilton-Manns, said that the airline's introductory sale fare of $39 one-way had been "incredibly successful".
"Since launching domestic bookings we've sold around 100,000 of the sale fares," he said. "At a minimum saving of $40 on these flights, we estimate Kiwis are at least $4 million better off than they would have been if we had not introduced real domestic competition to New Zealand."
"Of course, we anticipated our competitors would copy our fares and they've done exactly as we expected. Our $39 fares appear to have set a benchmark, with both Air New Zealand and Qantas matching us. It's a great pity they were unable to find such generosity earlier, but shows what a bit of proper competition can do."
Mr Hamilton-Manns said Pacific Blue's domestic plans have also forced the competition to lower their high-priced lead-in fares to match the airline's new domestic prices.
"It's difficult to put an exact figure on it but by prompting the competition to lower their fares we believe New Zealand air travelers are likely to be many millions of dollars better off."
Mr Hamilton-Manns said New Zealanders have welcomed the company's message of "pay a visit, not a fortune".
"Till now New Zealanders have been forced to grab limited low fares when they're briefly on the market, with a cosy duopoly keeping the majority of airfares high," he said. "Our sale put over 100,000 seats in the market at $39, and we have promised that we will sell half our domestic flights at $99 or less for the first 6 months of operation."
"We are delighted to have brought true competition to the domestic market, finally ensuring the New Zealand public has a real choice."
Pacific Blue's domestic and international flights can be booked via the website (www.flypacificblue.com), by calling 0800 670 000, or by contacting a travel agent. Members of the Velocity Loyalty program can earn and redeem points when they fly domestically in New Zealand.
About Pacific Blue,
Polynesian Blue, and Virgin Blue
International airlines Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, along with Australian domestic airline Virgin Blue, operate a fleet of 55 modern Boeing 737 aircraft flying to 22 Australian destinations and destinations throughout the South Pacific including New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.